Planning your wedding day is a labour of love for a bride, with so much time going into every little detail – the venue, the flowers, the dress.
So imagine not being able to see what you look like on your big day! Or not to be able to see your partner's reaction when they get that first glimpse of you walking down the aisle.
Indeed, it was only when Holly Irvine got to within half a metre of her fiancé Dan Horrocks that she was able to see his beaming face.
Holly was just 8 when she started getting migraines, and it was not until after 18 months of misdiagnosis that a scan found a brain tumour the size of a golf ball behind her optic nerve.
"My mum was getting concerned as I was walking around the house banging into things," Holly tells Woman's Day. "She told me she was sitting on one of our armchairs and I went over to the other armchair calling for her. That was when she got really worried."
An urgent appointment with the optometrist revealed there was something wrong and the Hamilton girl was taken to Waikato Hospital for brain scans. She recalls being rushed to Auckland Hospital, where specialists operated the very next day.
"They didn't get the whole thing and had to have two attempts at it," says Holly,
31. "Because it had been misdiagnosed so many times, it had grown to be almost too big. By then, I was pretty much seeing nothing.
"I had some light and I could sense movement. I could see shadows and some colour, but nothing that made any sense."
Holly's sight improved slightly over the next three years so that by the time Holly was at Hamilton's Fraser High School, she had tunnel vision in her right eye, giving her some sight up to approximately half a metre, coupled with only light and dark shadows in her left eye.
"So when I went looking at wedding dresses with my mum Kathy, I was able to see my dress up close – and I'm good with my fingers so I could feel the fabric."
Holly had met Dan via a friend in 2016. He was from Mangakino but worked at a Countdown store in Hamilton during the week, often staying at her mate's place.
She remembers, "I secretly had a crush on him. I used to go over there and we became close, talking to each other for hours. He likes listening to me play music and sing. One day, we were on the couch and Dan randomly proposed. It was a lovely surprise."
The lovebirds tied the knot in January this year, in an intimate ceremony at the Olde Creamery in Ohaupo, on the outskirts of Hamilton. Her younger sister Rosie led her down the aisle, guiding her by the elbow so she didn't need her white cane.
"It was a quiet wedding as one of the outcomes of my brain tumour was some brain damage and I do not like really loud noise – if there are a lot of people, I get overwhelmed," Holly confesses. "But I loved my wedding day."
Limited vision doesn't stop Holly from at least giving things a go and with the support of Blind Low Vision NZ (formerly the Blind Foundation), she attended a programme in Auckland called Kick Start.
"It's for blind people between the ages of 17 and 21, teaching them how to live by themselves – life skills such as cooking," explains Holly, adding that the foundation's career advisers helped her map out a study programme.
"I went to polytech and achieved a Certificate in Social Services as I wanted to be able to help people with disabilities as well."
Holly rekindled her love of music and volunteered for StarJam, an organisation that works with people with intellectual difficulties.
"I still play the guitar, piano and harmonica, and I sing contemporary stuff such as Brooke Fraser, Ed Sheeran and Shania Twain."
She and Dan now live in Mangakino, on the banks of the Waikato River. Neither
of them are working, so they fill their days in the outdoors if possible, often going out in their tandem kayak on Lake Maraetai, an artificial waterway formed by the hydro-electricity dam.
They love to go on long walks, hiking into the bush, where Dan leads her by the elbow and guides her across the uneven terrain. Holly also independently goes into town with the assistance of her white cane.
She hopes to return to her studies in the near future, calling on Blind Low Vision support services such as a mobility instructor, who will map out routes and help her adjust to new environments. She also uses a note-taker in class, as well as a computer that has speech software to read everything to her.
"It talks as I press each key," she explains. "It tells me the letters as I type them. My phone does the same." She isn't afraid to ask for help, but the brave battler prefers to be as independent as possible.
"I like to fend for myself," Holly insists. "I don't like saying I cannot do something unless I've tried it. I'm always going to try."